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May 16 2008

Joss Whedon's stalled Wonder Woman used as an example of DC's cinematic frustration. "I'll bet the DC people were crying when that fell apart."

An article exploring the success of Marvel's superhero movies and the frustration of DC to have to work through the politics of its parent company - Warner Bros.

"Warner Bros. was able to get Joss Whedon at the helm—AND THEN THEY REJECTED HIS SCRIPT! Joss Whedon of Firefly, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and more!" Littler wrote in an email. "I'll bet the DC people were crying when that fell apart."

The DC people weren't the only ones crying.... (sniff)
Ya it's crazy how that didnt work out for Joss. The best for for the story in Hollywood and they rejected it. Sigh.

But at least Batman will be good.
How about a Fray movie staring Summer Glau? Pulls lots of Joss interests into one big bag of goody-ness!
How about a Fray movie staring Summer Glau?


I think if Joss were to make a Buffyverse movie about Fray, most people would ask why he wasn't making one about Buffy.
There's a movie missing from the list in the article, which is the live action Teen Titans movie, that Mark Verheiden (BSG) is working on.
I think "Fray" would be an easier, and probably more entertaining, movie than "Buffy" would, actually. Although I like Megan Fox for the title role.

Seriously, Warner Bros is pretty idiotic if, especially after they watch Marvel roll around in money this year, they still don't think that they should prioritize some of these movies. I mean, they have franchise directors and stars for the two biggest superhero properties that exist, and yet they can't even get them on the schedule? Ridiculous.

I'm not even going to bust their nuts for rejecting Joss' script. If they had an honest to goodness different direction that they thought the character and the movie should go, more power to 'em, and I bet even Joss would agree. But they rejected his script, let a brilliant writer/director with an accomplished background in the source material walk away... so they could take the entire project and shove it to the backburner completely? What's that shit about?

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2008-05-16 14:59 ]
It's mind-boggling how Warner doesn't take advantage of owning DC. Marvel went and created their own freaking production company from scratch and is succeeding with it, but DC can't get anything going with one of the biggest producers in Hollywood. It's amazing.

It's so sad, because DC has so many awesome characters outside the big Trinity.

I also think Fray would be easier than Buffy, simply because you don't have to try to entice the actors back. I dunno about Megan Fox, though, unless Fray's only facial expression needs to be "oh my God, I'm about to have an orgasm." :)
Not to get too sidetracked, but if there was a Fray movie, Ellen Page would rock.
flakbait:And you are saying that that is a bad thing:)
Wonder Woman with Joss at the helm would have been a fascinating character study about a woman with power and the isolation it brings her, and that would have been simply amazing. At the moment Wonder Woman is being written in comics by Gail Simone, a fantastic writer whose style reminds me of Joss' own, and who does the character justice... but Big Screen Wondy written by Joss would be even better.

Going onto discuss the linked article, the Marvel/DC movie problem is sad, because DC has these iconic cinema-perfect characters. Marvel's characters (with the exception of the Saturday morning cartoon favourites) lack of the gravitas and archetypal appeal that DC's has.

Wonder Woman is a symbol of strength and feminism, Green Lantern (especially in recent years) is a sci-fi epic about the costs of war and redemption etc., writing Superman is an escape either into dreary alien-smacking boredom or scintillating philosophical pondering, Green Arrow is all progressive politics, the Flash is all about sacrifice and legacies etc. Batman (with the write cast and crew) as Joss puts it "writes itself." Even Aquaman could be a surprise hit with a 300-inspired machismo marketing campaign that makes him look cool.

In relation to the Buffyverse, DC has parallels. There is no established Trinity for Marvel - there's no Buffy/Xander/Willow or Supes/Wondy/Bats. The Marvel universe is complex and enjoyable, and widens exponentially month on month with so many new and creative characters. DC's all about character studies, like a woman in a wheelchair who finds great strength in her other abilities (Barbara Gordon), or the great emotional crisis that comes from a beloved character getting raped and killed in Jossian fashion (Identity Crisis).

And I hate Megan Fox (world's sexiest woman HOW?). I really don't let her go near Fray.
Woah Woah Woah!!!!...hang on a sec...whats wrong with Megan Fox? I hae to stand up for the future Mrs Angeliclestat:)
Megan Fox is just cool to hate, I think :) Sorta like how it became cool to hate Hayden Panettiere for no clearly articulable reason. Really, she's the first name that leapt to mind when I looked at the cover of the "Fray" trade paperback with an eye toward casting it.

I would love Ellen Page in that role, of course but, seriously, she'd have to pull a full-on Linda Hamilton to make it believable for me. Plus, I think Hollywood missed its window to pull Ellen Page into being a genre franchise star -- X-3 was all we get. She's a Serious Actress©®™ now.

Aquaman would need a compelling lead like Vincent Chase, I think. Maybe James Cameron to direct.

I think a Green Lantern movie would be sweet. I mean, seriously, who doesn't want that ring?
More de ja vu!
Nope, nuh uh. No way is Megan Fox Fray. For one thing Fray was specifically designed to be a slim athletic girl and not the typical bosomy comic book female. Not to mention I've yet to be convinced she can act. Summer could be Fray. However, I don't want her pigeonholed as action-Joss-girl.

Are they serious about making Aquaman a screwball comedy? He's one of the more tragic characters in DC comics. His son is dead. his wife driven insane and eventually unable to breathe underwater. He lost his hand to torture. And finally sacrificed his life for the power to save other people. He was turned into a seacreature for his trouble. Right?
Nope, nuh uh. No way is Megan Fox Fray. For one thing Fray was specifically designed to be a slim athletic girl and not the typical bosomy comic book female.


Are you saying Megan Fox is bosomy and not slim/athletic (granted she could probably stand to tone up more for Fray)? If so, I am perplexed as to who you might be confusing with Megan Fox.
Andy Dufrense...Ellen Page...all kinds of yes. My mind has been blown. Thank you, sir.
Megan Fox isn't Fray. She doesn't have the chops to carry emotion, IMO. Ellen Page isn't Fray. She doesn't have the athleticism needed to carry out the role, IMO.

We need a new face. The women suggested were no-names until their "break". Fray would be a break for someone who actually fitted the role, IMO.
I wouldn't choose either one, either; would rather see a new talent emerge :)
More idle speculation: how about Natalie Portman as Fray? IIRC from the Fray TPB, she was Karl Moline's physical model for the character. Okay, so what he had in mind was NP from "The Professional," when she was like, 11 years old. But still, I think she could pull it off.
Sorry, I know it's wrong to say, but I don't like NP's head for Fray. When she was 11, sure, but now... nah.
Going onto discuss the linked article, the Marvel/DC movie problem is sad, because DC has these iconic cinema-perfect characters. Marvel's characters (with the exception of the Saturday morning cartoon favourites) lack of the gravitas and archetypal appeal that DC's has.

Just goes to show how different people see comic heroes differently. I'd say the exact opposite. Even DC's big three lack the slightest bit of interest to me. The only DC character that ever held my interest was Batman. Superman and Wonder Woman comics bored me senseless as a kid and I've never seen anything to change my opinions in the books of theirs I've read since then.

On the other hand the Marvel Universe has dozens of heroes that have had me hooked since childhood. Apart from the obvious likes of Spidey, Captain America, Wolverine, Hulk, the Fantastic Four and the X-Men you have characters like Iron Man, Ghost Rider, Moon Knight, the Punisher and many others that are full of possibility for the big screen. All you have to do is look at Iron Man to see how a lesser known Marvel character and the right creative minds can bring in the audiences. Add that Marvel have finally hit on the idea of making their movie heroes crossover in the same way they do in the comics (Iron Man, Hulk, Thor and Ant-Man all have their own movies that will combine into an Avengers movie franchise, for those not following Marvel's movie plans) and you have the potential for big things.

I tend to think this whole "iconic" think that DC's characters tend to have is what makes them a little too worn out for the general public whereas Marvel seem to know how to take the best elements of their heroes and make them into something the general public want to see. I've got enough non-comic-fan friends to know that whereas I wouldn't have been able to get them into a Superman movie it took no effort to get them to go see Iron Man.

Like anything else it's about personal taste but I certainly wouldn't suggest that DC comic characters were in a better position to do well as movies because they were archetypal. Quite the opposite, in fact.
Uh oh, will somebody please check the thermostat in Hell, RockRage I'm about to agree with you. I always thought Supes was boring, and Wonder Woman just silly. Batman was the only one of the iconic DC characters that grabbed my attention as a young-un. In fact, the whole reason I was excited by the prospect of Joss doing Wonder Woman, was I thought he was about the only person in the world who could make a compelling story about the character.

On the other hand, I do think that some of their lesser-known players have more potential for story. The Atom always kind of grabbed me, and Adam Strange. Green Arrow especially paired with Black Canary (are they still together? It's been ages since I've looked at a DC comic.) Swamp-thing.
I think the Whedon Wonder Woman would have made me a fan of her. She's iconic, but for me always disappointing. I think she could become so much more in the right writer's re-imagining of her.
What? Don't we always agree, barboo? ;)

I tend to think you may be right about DC trying to expose some of their lesser characters but they will need to do so pretty quickly and extremely well. To the general public it will be a case of which company gets to a given hero concept first. Marvel have plans for Ant-Man already so any Atom movie that came after would end up looking like a knocked off idea. If Marvel use Hawkeye in the Avengers movie (and I'd say it was a strong possibility) then Green Arrow would share the same fate.

I guess I just don't see DC being able to turn things around fast enough. Marvel have had the movie side of superheroics wrapped up since the first X-Men movie came out and with a couple of botched exceptions like the first Hulk (which will soon be forgotten in favour of the vastly superior new Hulk flick) and Elektra they have barely put a foot wrong whereas DC just can't seem to get it quite right.
I just watched a really great (if not terribly in-depth) History channel documentary on comics (Comic Book Super Heroes Unmasked, I think it was?), worth checking out. Outside of Vertigo and my many indie loves, I've always been more of a Marvel fan, too.
Green Arrow and Black Canary are still together. Married, in fact!

I would love to see some DC space operas starring Adam Strange or Captain Comet. Those could be a blast.

One thing that might might make DC movies slightly more difficult is the legacy aspects of many of the characters. It's a huge strength in the comics to have sidekicks growing into full heroes and other heroes whose grandfather was the first whoever back in the '50s and what not, but it's harder to translate to film.
thatweirdgirl : Aquaman has at times been one of the much lighter strips*, altho saying it was ever played for laughs would be an exagerration. (It was never MEtamorpho or MEtal Men)

*back when it was also a an ecologically hip Saturday morning cartoon
I, too, am a Marvel fan.

The DC-3 seems to have no character flaw... like they're perfect or something, and that rubs wrong with an American view of "we're all f*ed up". I know, I don't know much about DC, but isn't that the point? How do you gather a general audience when they have these sort of perceptions?

The Supermand & Batman movies didn't help. So they had a hard time keeping the girl. Big deal. They weren't drunks like Iron Man or turned green and "hurt" things like the Hulk or had an explosive temper like Wolverine. I think that's why we like them more.

Whedon's Wonder Woman would have been an improvement because I'm sure he would give her some flaws that made her more "human", more reachable to a public.
I don't get how someone's going to conclude Batman has no flaws. Almost all pathos-laden or vengeance-driven superheroes *ever* owe a tip of the cap to Batman's iconic origin story.

Superman has flaws, but he's shown to resolve them with good decisions -- he's an idealist's character.

The biggest problem with Wonder Woman isn't that she has no flaws, it's that she has no *origin*. They have run through, what, 3 or 4 mutually exclusive origin stories for the character, as well as various combinations of powers? Superhero movies, at least first movies, work because they can hit all the iconic stuff. Wonder Woman can't do that because nobody can even agree, in the fandom, what those iconic elements are. For instance, her secret agent background, or being an Amazon princess? An invisible jet, or flying/superjumping? There's no consensus as to what Wonder Woman "means", so probably no way to come up with a single coherent script that can make everybody at WB who had to decide happy.
KingofCretins: Oaky, Ia dmit to giving comics up in the 80s but it seems all those things you mentioned were existing together. As my people say, "Yah vell."

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